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Kickin' Game With Kevin Irwin, The Experience Manager Of StockX

Kickin' Game With Kevin Irwin, The Experience Manager Of StockX

As the popularity of Nike’s (NYSE: NKE) Air Jordans soared throughout the 2000s, people waited for days at a time just for a chance to cop the highly coveted kicks.

If you were one of the unlucky souls left without a pair of new sneakers at retail, you had two options: suffer the inflated prices set by resellers on eBay Inc (NASDAQ: EBAY) — or wallow in sorrow while everyone else flexed in their new Js.

Detroit-based StockX changed that dynamic with the creation of a stock market for consumer goods. It operates much like the NASDAQ does with stocks and options, except instead of exchanging shares of a company, people trade merchandise like sneakers and streetwear.

Josh Luber, the company's co-founder and former CEO, stresses the fact that the primary purpose of StockX is to connect buyers and sellers on a free market platform.

Unlike websites like eBay and Flight Club where prices are arbitrarily set by sellers, StockX operates with complete transparency of information, allowing for the true market value of products to emerge in real time.

"It’s whatever the true market value is. The idea was always that this could be the way to do that for consumer goods," Luber said in an interview with “The Hundreds."

Three-year-old StockX reached a valuation of more than $1 billion with its latest funding round in June.

See Also: 3 Motor City CEOs Share Lessons From Their Biggest Hits And Misses: 'Always Be Ready To Shoot Your Shot'

Face Of The Place

As a co-founder of the company along with Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert, Luber is one of the public faces of the company.

But if you’ve ever seen any StockX commercials or marketing material, the person you saw promoting the company probably wasn't Luber.

Instead, your screen was likely filled with a wide-smiled, swagged-out guy telling you all about what StockX has to offer. That exuberant individual is Detroit native Kevin Irwin II. At StockX, Irwin serves as the senior manager of experience.

"The bulk of my job would be facilitating experiences.You can call it a tour, but I don’t call it a tour. I call it an experience," he said in an interview with a Benzinga.

You can catch Irwin in TV commercials, hosting the company’s biggest events and on StockX’s weekly YouTube series “Market Watch,” where he provides updates on the sneaker market and the latest news in the world of fashion and streetwear.

Comeback Kid

Irwin hasn’t always had the privilege of starring in StockX commercials and hosting popular events.

Before his days as a media personality, Irwin was a mortgage banker at Quicken Loans. After only a month, Irwin was fired from a position as an associate banker.

“At the time I didn’t care about QL, but I cared about being fired. I refused to have my name be brought up in those halls as another person that didn’t make it.”

Irwin said he reapplied to Quicken Loans and was successfully employed within the company’s mortgage operations.

“I knew I was special. So when I got another opportunity, I was super prepared because I understood the value of that opportunity, and how I squandered it away the first time.”

Despite this achievement, he was still far removed from the dream job he has today. So what exactly did Irwin do to transition to becoming the face of the cutting-edge company that is StockX?

A Different Approach

The days of many business professionals are planned to the moment.

While this is an effective formula of success for some people, Irwin said he takes a different approach to rising in the ranks.

“I work very hard [and] I trust God, but most of all I’m kind to people and I always try to do the right thing. I am a firm believer that if I do what I am supposed to do and execute when I have certain opportunities, everything will be good in the end.”

Sneakers As An Asset Class: 'The New Wave Of E-Commerce' Or A Bubble?

The Runaround

Irwin said his seven-year-long career journey hasn't occurred in a straight line.

"But throughout my time here, I understood that even though you may not be actively pursuing your desired purpose, if you operate in the way that you are supposed to, God is using you for a reason. After coming in everyday, working my butt off and showing people love, God finally presented me with the right opportunity and put me where I needed to be.”

Regardless of your faith and beliefs or your lack thereof, Irwin’s story is a reflection of the power that lies within exemplifying genuine character and unrelenting perseverance.

And while it may not optimize your stock portfolio or secure you a pair of the newest Yeezys, kindness and consideration can take you places you’d never imagine.

For any skeptics of Irwin’s approach to winning in life, check out some footage below of his experience as the face of StockX.


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